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directed by Ruggero Deodato
Italy 1980

NYU anthropologist Harold Monroe (Robert Kerman, SPIDERMAN) leads a rescue mission into the Amazon to track down four young documentary filmmakers - director Alan Yates (Carl Gabriel Yorke, IDLE HANDS), script girl Faye Daniels (Francesca Ciardi, FAREWELL MOSCOW), and cameramen Jack Anders (Perry Pirkanen, CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD), and Mark Tamoso (Luca Barbareschi, THE INTERNATIONAL) - and their guide who went in search of the Yacumo, or "tree people" and never returned. The search turns up only human remains, the group's camera equipment and several cans of film. Monroe takes it back to New York for the filmmakers' sponsors to sift through. Monroe is invited to view the footage and they find not a terrified group of innocent researchers beset by cannibals, but a quartet of cynical, sadistic sensationalists using rape, arson, and mutilation to trigger behavior for the camera until the tables are turned on them in a grueling finale. Prosecuted in Italy for obscenity (the Italian courts actually believed that Deodato and crew killed the actors, who had been instructed to keep a low profile for a year after the film), never released on VHS in the US - although it played theatrically with an X-rating - and banned as a "Video Nasty" in the UK, CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST certainly was not the first of the Italian cannibal subgenre (Umberto Lenzi had directed MAN FROM DEEP RIVER in 1972 and Deodato himself had previously helmed LAST CANNIBAL WORLD in 1977) or the last (Lenzi hopped back on the bandwagon and contributed EATEN ALIVE and CANNIBAL FEROX shortly after the success of the Deodato film, and there have been several somewhat watered-down additions in the later eighties that never hit these shores). Reportedly the influence for THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT (it is still debatable whether the makers of that film were aware of the simultaneously-produced THE LAST BROADCAST), CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST features the usual real animal violence and make-up effects no more advanced than those of other Italian cannibal and zombie films, but the scenes of violence are captured (during the "found footage" sequences) in an unflinching manner - even as their own are being mutilated - that challenges the audiences to be the ones who are to look away. Nothing Deodato has done since (from the LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT-ish HOUSE ON THE EDGE OF THE PARK or the cannibal-lite CUT AND RUN to the downbeat giallo PHANTOM OF DEATH or the amusingly ditzy "possessed phone" thriller DIAL: HELP) - or perhaps before - has equaled CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST in its intensity. Kerman was better known as adult film actor Richard Bolla, but he also appeared in a trio of notorious Italian cannibal flicks including Deodato's film, and Umberto Lenzi's EATEN ALIVE and CANNIBAL FEROX (as well as Luigi Scattini's BLUE NUDE, a softcore film about an Italian would-be actor in New York who gets tangled in pornography). Kerman - dubbed by prolific English dubbing artist Edward Mannix - gives a professional performance, but Yorke truly stands out (watch his smirk at the sight of a vertically-impaled native girl before he feigns shock for the documentary camera). Yorke followed up CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST with a handful of appearances on television and some small film roles, but has since gone on to teach at UC Berkeley. Pirkanen also appeared in the New York scenes of CANNIBAL FEROX as well as Lucio Fulci's CITY OF THE LIVING DEAD and much, much later in Bruno Mattei's CRUEL JAWS (1995). Ciardi had previously appeared as a pusher in Massimo Pirri's THE TUNNEL, but her subsequent acting career encompassed two more movies and a TV movie. Other than Kerman, Barbareschi has had the most prolific career of the principal cast (including an appearance in CUT AND RUN and a lot of respectable Italian television and stage work). Riz Ortolani's soaring, beautiful main theme seems to underline the suffering of the natives while his tribal drums and synth sting cues instill horror in the killing scenes of the filmmaker characters who should deserve their fates (following Deodato's preference for ballads noted in LIVE LIKE A COP, DIE LIKE A MAN, Ortolani later provided a gentle lullaby-like theme for THE HOUSE ON THE EDGE OF THE PARK). Lamberto Bava (MACABRE) served as assistant director, editor Vincenzo Tomassi (ZOMBIE) was Lucio Fulci's cutter of choice, and art director Antonello Geleng (THE STENDHAL SYNDROME) later became Dario Argento's production designer of choice.

Eric Cotenas

Posters

Theatrical Release: 19 June 1985 (USA)

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Comparison: 

Grindhouse Releasing - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Shameless - Region 0 - PAL vs. Shameless - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Grindhouse Releasing - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT vs. Shameless - Region 0 - PAL SECOND vs. Shameless - Region FREE - Blu-ray RIGHT

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the DVD Review!

DVD Box Cover

 

 

Distribution

Grindhouse Releasing

Region 1 - NTSC

Shameless

Region 0 - PAL

Shameless

Region FREE - Blu-ray

Runtime 1:36:48 1:32:03 on the original cut and 1:31:51 for the "reduced animal cruelty" edit (4% PAL Speedup) 1:36:02.965 on the original cut and 1:35:49.660 for the "reduced animal cruelty" edit
Video

1.82:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.6 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.88:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 5.53 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 49,381,691,764 bytes

Original Feature: 18,875,725,824 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 23.00 Mbps

 

New Edit Feature: 18,172,944,384 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 22.00 Mbps

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate: Grindhouse

Bitrate: Shameless

Bitrate: Shameless (original cut) Blu-ray

Bitrate: Shameless (New edit) Blu-ray

Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo; English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono

English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono; Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 mono

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1575 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1575 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / DN -4dB

DTS-HD Master Audio English 1696 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1696 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 16-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / DN -4dB

Subtitles none English, none English (briefly for non-English dialogue)
Features Release Information:
Studio: Grindhouse Releasing

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.82:1

Edition Details:
• DISC 1:
• Animal Cruelty-Free Branching Option
• Audio Commentary by director Ruggero Deodato and star Robert Kerman
• On-Camera Commentary Option
• Alternate Version of THE LAST ROAD TO HELL (4:3; 1:44)
• Italian Trailer, International Trailer, German Trailer, U.S. Original and Re-release Trailers
• Inside the Green Inferno: character biographies, notes, still galleries, PDF-script and HTML guide
• DISC 2:
• In the Jungle: Making of Cannibal Holocaust (4:3; 63:03)
• Interview with actor Robert Kerman (4:3; 35:35)
• Interview with composer Riz Ortolani (4:3; 4:58)
• Interview with Gabriel York (4:3; 51:13)
• Music Video, Slideshows, Biographies, Filmographies, Easter Eggs
• Trailers for CANNIBAL FEROX, I DRINK YOUR BLOOD, THE TOUGH ONES, THE BEYOND, CAT IN THE BRAIN,
• SCUM OF THE EARTH, and GONE WITH THE POPE, Liner Notes Booklet

DVD Release Date: August 26th, 2008
Amaray

Chapters 50

Release Information:
Studio:
Shameless

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.88:1

Edition Details:

Disc 1

• English introduction by Deodato before main menu (16:9; 0:09) • Deodato addresses animal cruelty - introduction to new edit (16:9; 1:43)

• Start-up trailer for DON'T TORTURE A DUCKLING, NEW YORK RIPPER FAN EDIT, and HOUSE ON THE EDGE OF THE PARK Easter Egg (16:9; 0:57)

 

Disc 2

• Film & Be Damned: Interview with Carl G. Yorke and Ruggero Deodato (16:9; 38:38)

• The Long Road Back From Hell: featurette with Kim Newman, Professor Julian Petley, Professor Mary Wood, actor Carl G. Yorke, actress Francesca Ciardi, and director Ruggero Deodato (16:9; 38:18)

• Theatrical Trailer (16:9; 2:57) • Shameless Trailer Park (trailers for NEW YORK RIPPER, PHANTOM OF DEATH, KILLER NUN, TORSO, VENUS IN FURS, THE BLACK CAT, FLAVIA THE HERETIC, MANHATTAN BABY, NIGHT TRAIN MURDERS, THE FRIGHTENED WOMAN, MY DEAR KILLER, RATMAN, WHAT HAVE THEY DONE TO OUR DAUGHTERS, WHO SAW HER DIE?, THE DESIGNATED VICTIM, STRIP NUDE FOR YOUR KILLER, OASIS OF FEAR, WATCH ME WHEN I KILL, BABA YAGA: THE FINAL CUT, FOOTPRINTS, BRONX WARRIORS TRILOGY, LOVE GODDESS OF THE CANNIBALS, SATAN'S BABY DOLL, THE BEAST IN SPACE, THE BRONX WARRIORS, ESCAPE FROM THE BRONX, THE NEW BARBARIANS, FULCI'S BOX OF TERROR, THE NEW YORK RIPPER - FAN EDITION, THE STRANGE VICE OF SIGNORA WARDH, THE NEW YORK RIPPER BLU-RAY - FAN EDITION)

 

DVD Release Date: September 26th, 2011

Reversible Cover

Release Information:
Studio:
Shameless

 

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 49,381,691,764 bytes

Original Feature: 18,875,725,824 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 23.00 Mbps

 

New Edit Feature: 18,172,944,384 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 22.00 Mbps

 

Edition Details:

• English introduction by Deodato before main menu (16:9; 0:09) • Deodato addresses animal cruelty - introduction to new edit (16:9; 1:43)

• Start-up trailer for DON'T TORTURE A DUCKLING, NEW YORK RIPPER FAN EDIT, and HOUSE ON THE EDGE OF THE PARK Easter Egg (16:9; 0:57)

• Film & Be Damned: Interview with Carl G. Yorke and Ruggero Deodato (16:9; 38:38)

• The Long Road Back From Hell: featurette with Kim Newman, Professor Julian Petley, Professor Mary Wood, actor Carl G. Yorke, actress Francesca Ciardi, and director Ruggero Deodato (16:9; 38:18)

• Theatrical Trailer (16:9; 2:57) • Shameless Trailer Park (trailers for NEW YORK RIPPER, PHANTOM OF DEATH, KILLER NUN, TORSO, VENUS IN FURS, THE BLACK CAT, FLAVIA THE HERETIC, MANHATTAN BABY, NIGHT TRAIN MURDERS, THE FRIGHTENED WOMAN, MY DEAR KILLER, RATMAN, WHAT HAVE THEY DONE TO OUR DAUGHTERS, WHO SAW HER DIE?, THE DESIGNATED VICTIM, STRIP NUDE FOR YOUR KILLER, OASIS OF FEAR, WATCH ME WHEN I KILL, BABA YAGA: THE FINAL CUT, FOOTPRINTS, BRONX WARRIORS TRILOGY, LOVE GODDESS OF THE CANNIBALS, SATAN'S BABY DOLL, THE BEAST IN SPACE, THE BRONX WARRIORS, ESCAPE FROM THE BRONX, THE NEW BARBARIANS, FULCI'S BOX OF TERROR, THE NEW YORK RIPPER - FAN EDITION, THE STRANGE VICE OF SIGNORA WARDH, THE NEW YORK RIPPER BLU-RAY - FAN EDITION)

 

Blu-ray Release Date: September 26th, 2011

Reversible Cover

 

Comments

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Shameless - Region FREE - Blu-ray - September 11': Despite the two 1080P transferred cuts being separate, with slightly different bitrates, residing on the same Blu-ray disc (NOT seamlessly branched) I can find no discernable visual differences between the original long version and the director's own edit of the film reducing the on-screen violence to animals (a whopping 13-seconds - described by Eric below). You can see where the 1080P image improves over the SD with more visible grain, better colors (skin tones) and a more notable sense of depth. Predictably everything tightens up and appears more film-like although it would only be about quadruple the bitrate of the SD - but that is enough.

Where the video has a slightly alternate transfer - so does the audio but it also is not a discernable difference. We get DTS-Master 2.0 channel at around 1500 Kbps. I don't own the DVD so I can't directly compare but we can state that this is uncompressed (lossless) for both cuts. Subtitles are not accessible from the main or Pop-up menu and although appear to have the option by depressing the 'Subtitle' button via your remote (on my system a screen appears offering the choice of English). they only seem to appear briefly for some non-English dialogue.

NOTE: No Italian track that is offered on the DVD.

Supplements mimic the, simultaneously released, DVD - as reviewed by Eric below - with the Ruggero Deodato, Karl York and Francesca Cirdi interviews, plus the specially commissioned 'The Long Road Back From Hell' documentary by Cine Excess.

Fans of the film or the 'Cannibal genre' will probably be happy. It's quite a gross-out and the Blu-ray offers the definitive viewing presentation at present.

Gary W. Tooze

***

ON THE DVDs: Shameless's DVD features two versions of the film on disc 1 utilizing a new high definition master (opening with a TransAmerica Europa logo). The BBFC has ordered the removal of 15 seconds of footage involving the killing of a muskrat and Shameless has substituted reaction shots to smooth over the action. Colors are a tad less saturated than the Grindhouse edition, and there is a bit more detail in the shadows, and contrasts are lighter, but the 16mm sequences seem to have been color corrected to match the 35mm (these sequences in the Grindhouse master looked strikingly different with redder skin tones than the 35mm footage). The 16mm footage which not only looks considerably less grainy than the scenes on the Grindhouse disc (Deodato intentionally scratched and degraded the 16mm film to distinguish it from the 35mm), but also less detailed. I have not seen the EC Entertainment Ultrabit transfer (which reportedly features a more naturalistic look for the 16mm scenes as well, so Grindhouse - while more pleasing aesthetically - may be off). Whereas the Grindhouse version used branching on a single encoding for its original and "animal cruelty-free" versions, Shameless' disc features separate encodings (3.73 GB for the original and 3.72 for the new edit). The English Dolby Digital mono mix is rich and more full-bodied compared to the Italian one. The Shameless version also includes the Italian track and English subtitles. The Blu-Ray version surely offers a superior encoding, but the color changes and filtering is probably part of the master. The Grindhouse version features more extras (see below) that sets the film within a "grindhouse" context, but Shameless' exclusive extras attempts to engage with the film critically. The first featurette "Film & Be Damned" features the recollections of Deodato and actor Carl Gabriel Yorke. There is some overlap with the stories told by Deodato and Yorke on the US edition, but - unless I missed it while going through the Grindhouse disc again - Deodato and Yorke here point out that the actor who played Alan Yates' brother in the New York scenes was the actor who was originally cast as Yates. The second featurette "Long Ride Back From Hell" features the recollections and analysis of a handful of film critics/academics (a few of whom had previously appeared in the documentary VIDEO NASTIES: THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE). They contextualize the film within the Italian mondo craze, the film's self-reflexive approach, and its function as a parody of the genre. Both editions feature the participation of actor Carl Gabriel Yorke; however, whereas Grindhouse had enthusiastic participation from Robert Kerman (sadly missing on the Shameless), Shameless has tracked down Francesca Ciardi (who was not featured on the US DVD) who also appears in the "Long Ride Back From hell" featurette.

Grindhouse Releasing's 2-disc special was announced five years before it eventually hit the streets as their first self-released special edition (Lucio Fulci's THE BEYOND was distributed by Anchor Bay and Umberto Lenzi's CANNIBAL FEROX by Image Entertainment). The HD-mastered transfer was beautiful - aside from the regrettable interlaced encoding - and the stereo remix of the English mono track was enveloping, yet respectful (Grindhouse had previously performed a stereo remix for CANNIBAL FEROX, as well as a 5.1 remix of THE BEYOND). In addition to the English stereo, mono, and audio commentary tracks, the film had three viewing options: the full cut, an animal-cruelty free version utilizing branching (Deodato regrets shooting this footage), and a version featuring pop-up onscreen commentary. The supplements section was also inventively designed with dossiers of the characters (filmographies on disc 2), the alternate version of THE LONG ROAD TO HELL documentary segment from the film, and Italian, export, German, and US original and re-release trailers. In addition to porting over and translating the hour-long documentary from the Italian DVD edition, Grindhouse recorded a new short interview with Ortolani, and lengthier ones with Robert Kerman and Carl Gabriel Yorke. Grindhouse also included a PDF scan of Kerman's copy of the script as a DVD-ROM supplement (the film is mostly faithful to the text, but there are some differences; for instance, Fay Daniels is called Shanda Williams on paper). Easter Eggs include a trailer for Kerman's DEBBIE DOES DALLAS, Deodato trailers in the filmography section, and some footage from a Deodato/Kerman Q&A. Grindhouse has not confirmed plans for their own Blu-ray, but buyers of the Shameless Blu-ray (or their 2-disc DVD) will want to hold onto the Grindhouse disc for its exclusive extras.

  -Eric Cotenas

 


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Grindhouse Releasing - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT vs. Shameless - Region 0 - PAL RIGHT
 

 

 

 

Shameless - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 


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Screen Captures

 

1) Grindhouse Releasing - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Shameless - Region 0 - PAL SECOND

3) Shameless (original cut) - Region FREE - Blu-ray THIRD

4) Shameless (New cut) - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Grindhouse Releasing - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Shameless - Region 0 - PAL SECOND

3) Shameless (original cut) - Region FREE - Blu-ray THIRD

4) Shameless (New cut) - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Grindhouse Releasing - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Shameless - Region 0 - PAL MIDDLE

3) Shameless - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Grindhouse Releasing - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Shameless - Region 0 - PAL MIDDLE

3) Shameless - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Grindhouse Releasing - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Shameless - Region 0 - PAL MIDDLE

3) Shameless - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Grindhouse Releasing - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Shameless - Region 0 - PAL MIDDLE

3) Shameless - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Grindhouse Releasing - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Shameless - Region 0 - PAL MIDDLE

3) Shameless - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


DVD Box Cover

 

 

Distribution

Grindhouse Releasing

Region 1 - NTSC

Shameless

Region 0 - PAL

Shameless

Region FREE - Blu-ray

 




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